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Side sleeping - Annular tear/bulge

hi after a year of suffering pain now I’m sure sleepingn on my sides makes my injury worse. Especially the side that effects the nerve to my ankle.

I’ll sleep fine but the muscles really react strongly. So confined to back sleeping which took a little while to get used to.

Back seemed to get a bit better so returned to side sleeping for 1 week 6 months later and not good.

Anyone noticed the same pattern? 



  • Have you had a lumbar MRI with contrast? Maybe something is hiding out that’s not showing up on a regular MRI?

  • Yes a lumbar MRI just T1/2 no contrast. Don’t know what contrast can disc is fairly degenerative. 

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,434
    edited 04/06/2019 - 11:38 PM

    This is what can get missed on an MRI without contrast:

    “My surgeon waited a bit to see if my pain would go away with conservative treatments. It didn’t and pain got worse so he went in doing “exploratory surgery” and as soon as I woke from anesthesia I asked if he found anything and that is when he said he found the two disc fragments. Two radiologists had missed them on a couple of mri’s I had because they weren’t that big but the way they were wedged it most certainly would cause a lot of pain according to my surgeon. I’m glad so far I had the surgery. I didn’t expect to have pain still but it is getting better each day.

    Also my pain was simply awful. Like close to 10 out of 10 awful. I’m glad I had a doc who listened and didn’t linger any longer than he had to. He did dismiss me at first because my MRI only showed a small bulge but I have a pretty significant herniation in my neck with stenosis that I had saw him before previously. (Still managing conservatively on that-no surgery yet). He knows I can handle pain well and this time I couldn’t function. I also had no contrast with my mri-if I get another one my doc wants it with contrast. Told me those tiny disc fragments would have shown up with contrast.”

    - @NorthernGal1

  • Wow that’s crazy! Never heard of a contrast MRI. Could you see them yourself? Where the disc fragments compressing a nerve/joint/cord? 

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,434
    edited 04/10/2019 - 5:09 AM

    You’d have to ask the original poster. I was just quoting her. Although she hasn’t been online in a month. Maybe send her a private message. Sometimes a user will get the private message sent to their email. Her user name is @NorthernGal1.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,974

    Besides the different type of physical MRI machines, the two basic methods are

    Without Contrast - Generally for patients who have not had spinal surgery
    With Contrast  - Generally used when a patient has had prior spinal surgery

    The only difference is that the medium you are injected with during an MRI with contrast is magnetic. This makes detail in the soft tissue stand out, since the medium is absorbed by organs and tissue from the bloodstream.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I think back sleeping is better than side sleeping.

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